The TCC Honors Program offers honors courses to curious and self-motivated students who wish to grow personally and academically. The goal of the program is to provide students with an enriched academic environment through more direct involvement in their own learning experience. Classes are smaller, interaction with peers and professors is lively, and opportunities for independent study are provided.
How do honors courses differ from "regular" courses?
TCC honors classes are smaller, affording more concentrated and vigorous classroom discussion. This also allows the student more interaction with peers and with the professor. Because of class size, textbooks are selected with a specific course focus in mind. Most often, the emphasis in the course is on critical thinking, writing, and reading. Often, independent study and research are encouraged. In this atmosphere, students take active roles in their education.
Do Honors courses involve extra work?
Honors courses typically rely on student participation and encourage independent critical thinking. Such courses can be extremely rewarding. In many cases, the amount of reading, writing, and testing required by an Honors course will not be substantially different from the work required by an equivalent "regular" course. The difference the program makes is not necessarily quantitative; it's qualitative. In other words, you will probably not be doing more course work--you will be taking a different approach to the same course work.
How can I participate in the TCC Honors Program? You may participate in the TCC Honors Program in three different ways:
You may enroll in individual honors courses (a 3.0 GPA is recommended).
If you complete at least 15 credit hours of honors courses with a minimum GPA of 3.5 in all your honors course work (and at least 3.25 overall), you may register to receive an Honors Certificate attesting to your academic dedication.
You may apply to become an Honors Scholar. This part of the program has very specific requirements, one of which is a 3.5 GPA. As a Scholar, you would proceed through an honors curriculum of twenty-four credit hours of honors classes (or 21 hours if an optional enrichment activity is undertaken). Full-time and part-time students, regardless of age or previous academic background, are welcome to apply.
When should I enter the Honors Scholar program?
Students may apply for admission to the Honors Scholar program at any time. Honors course work undertaken by a student prior to his or her acceptance into the program may be applied toward Honors Scholar requirements. All program requirements must be met before graduation, regardless of when the student enters the Honors Scholar program. The Honors Program strongly suggests that students apply as early as possible in their college careers. Early acceptance into the Honors Scholar program allows the student to take full advantage of the program’s benefits, which include scholarships, consideration for the prestigious TCC Foundation Honors Award, and guidance from the Honors Program staff.
Will my GPA suffer if I enroll in honors courses?
As with any course work, if you prepare conscientiously for each class, if you participate, and if you take an active role in claiming your education, you should excel. Research indicates that students who are appropriately enrolled in honors classes earn the same grades they would have received in equivalent "regular" classes. Some students feel they do even better in these smaller, supportive classes.
How many honors courses should I take each semester?
As many as you want, or can fit into your schedule. Many Honors Scholars find they like the honors format and professors so well, they exceed the number of honors hours required to graduate as an Honors Scholar. Please note that many general-education courses are offered as honors, while more specialized courses for specific majors are scarcer. It is often wise to take the majority of your honors classes early in your college career.
How will my honors work be recognized?
Each of your honors courses will show an honors designation (HONORS) on your transcript. If you complete at least 15 credit hours of honors courses with a minimum GPA of 3.5 in all your honors course work (and at least a 3.25 overall), you may register with the Honors Office to receive an Honors Certificate. If you are in good standing as an active member of the Honors Scholar program, and if you have fulfilled the Honors Scholar requirements, the Honors Scholar designation will appear on your TCC transcript following your graduation. You will also be recognized as an Honors Scholar at commencement. If you maintain a 3.5 GPA during your academic work at TCC, you will be eligible for membership in Phi Theta Kappa, an international honor society. Moreover, universities and colleges are impressed by honors work in community college Honors Programs.
What about financial aid?
All Honors Scholars in good standing are eligible to receive the TCC Honors Scholar State Regents Tuition Waiver Scholarship, which waives tuition for up to 18 credit hours per semester. For further information, contact the Honors coordinator on your campus. Additionally, the Honors Program presents TCC Foundation Honors Awards--cash awards funded by the TCC Foundation--each year to outstanding Honors Scholars. Finally, because of their academic excellence, most Honors students become eligible for transfer scholarships when they move on to four-year degree programs. For example, the University of Tulsa offers a renewable transfer scholarship for graduates of the TCC Honors Scholar program. Contact the Honors Office (595-7378) for information about transfer scholarships to other area schools.
Which of my courses will transfer to four-year degree programs at other schools?
For the latest and most complete information, contact the admissions office at the school you plan to attend. Transfer guides are available on some college websites.
What is the difference between being an Honors Scholar and graduating "with honors"?
Honors Scholars are proactive about their educational experience. They have applied for and been accepted into the Honors Program, taken honors classes, and fulfilled the other requirements of the Honors Program. As a result, they are eligible for Honors Foundation Awards, a variety of specially designated scholarships, recognition, and honors travel opportunities. Graduating with honors simply means a student has achieved a GPA of 3.5 or higher. Of course, a graduating Honors Scholar would automatically graduate "with honors," but not everyone graduating with honors has achieved the standing of "Honors Scholar."
If I am an Honors Scholar, must I be in Phi Theta Kappa?
No, but why not? While the Honors Program and PTK are separate and unique entities, they work well together and serve the same pool of outstanding students.
If I am in Phi Theta Kappa, does that mean I am automatically an Honors Scholar?
No. The Honors Scholar program and Phi Theta Kappa each have separate application procedures. If you are a member of Phi Theta Kappa, however, you probably qualify to become an Honors Scholar--and vice versa.
How do I obtain further information?
Email the honors coordinator on your campus:
You may also call (918-595-7378) or email the Honors Program Office.